Father Hennepin State Park
Hiking Club Trail #18
Date: April 28, 2018
Location: Isle, MN
Length: 2.0 Miles
Difficulty: Easy: Wide trails, some paved - easy to navigate
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 50.3 of 197
This park earns me my 50 MILE PATCH!!! And to commemorate the occasion Penny jumped over a log and quickly dropped a beaver skull at my feet - why is it she can't just bring back antler sheds???
First thing - it is almost MAY and people were out on Mille Lacs ice fishing, some with snowmobiles... this is crazy.
This park runs along the southern shore of Lake Mille Lacs, and a good portion of the trail is paved (not my favorite when my intent is to be off the beaten path but it is nice to have firm ground during mud season). This park is on the smaller side but it is known to have albino deer which makes it unique - I did see some deer but none of the albino.
The hiking club trail makes a 2-mile loop which essentially runs you through the majority of the park - so I probably have no need to revisit but it would be a good park to camp in as it it right on the shores of Mille Lacs.
Because this hike was a short one and because there is hardly any snow remaining on the trails we decided to head over to Mille Lacs Kathio State Park and do that Hiking Club trail too (I have hiked that trail before but my mom still needed to). Kathio was filled with wildlife Pelicans, varieties of ducks, geese, loons, deer, snakes... I love this time of year because the Parks aren't full of people yet. So far this park ranks amongst my favorites and I can't wait to get back and try other trails but the one thing I forgot was how hilly the HCT was - so that was a fun surprise.
Overall it was a 6.6 mile day.
Moose Lake State Park
Hiking Club Trail #17
Date: April 7, 2018
Location: Moose Lake, MN
Length: 2.0 Miles
Difficulty: Easy: Wide trails, minimal hills - however snow was deep
Cumulative Hiking Club Miles: 48.3 of 197
April 7th - the warmest weather we are having here in MN is 32 degrees - I am personally feeling pretty cooped up because of the cold but I also am really sick of the snow, so the idea of going outside is less than appealing as well.
I spent last weekend inside watching Netflix so I was feeling pretty guilty - and lets be honest the weather this Saturday was sunny and it wasn't snowing (which unfortunately is the best we can ask for right now) so I decided to drag myself out of the house and get some fresh air.
It really was hard to decide to get out hiking but, I'm glad I did. The season of going out and having these parks all to myself is going to soon come to an end and I will really miss that part about winter.
There was something magical about this hike. Birch trees and tall white pines against the bright blue sky mixed with the sun peeking through the trees highlighting the crystalizing snow... all made me forget I was out there looking for a password.
Of all of the hikes I have done I have never missed a password - even in the parks where I didn't feel like there was enough signage and was wondering if I was indeed on the right trail. This park had a lot of signage I was positive I was on the right trail the entire time and I still missed the sign. Maybe I was distracted because I had 2 dogs with me plus my mom but, I doubt it - the only time I was really distracted is when Penny found another grouse and it popped up right in front of her nose and caused her to take off running.
In the end the hike was easy, I was glad to be outside even in the cold, the snow was deep and made for an interesting hike - but I was disappointed with myself for missing the password. I toyed with the idea of quickly doing the trail again to get the password but instead I decided we will come up and hike this one again when the snow is gone and combine it with a trip to Jay Cooke.
This is unfortunate because this one would have gotten my mom to her 25 mile patch but the office wasn't open anyway...
This is my quest to find my place beneath the stars - outside the confines of my office and without the pressures of everyday life.